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Brecon Baroque

Langue disponible : anglais
Brecon Baroque is one of the leading groups in Britain devoting itself to Baroque secular music. It was patterned by violinist and leader Rachel Podger on the secular coffee house ensembles of Bach's and Telemann's day, specifically on the so-called Café Zimmermann ensemble maintained by prosperous Leipzig property owner Gottfried Zimmermann in a coffee house in his handsome Katharinenstrasse building. (Setting a pattern that has endured to the present day, Zimmermann did not charge admission to the concerts, but recouped his investment through sales of coffee.) Other ensembles have been inspired by this configuration, but few have had the flexibility and ambition of Podger's group, which she founded in 2007. The group consists of instrumentalists who all had (and have) flourishing solo careers, including violinist Johannes Pramsohler, violist Jane Rogers, cellist Alison McGillivray, lutenist Daniele Caminiti, and harpsichordist Marcin Swiątkiewicz. It generally performs with one instrument per part (which may have been true of Bach's Café Zimmermann orchestra as well), but has expanded to small-orchestra size when the repertory merits it, for instance with music by Handel, Purcell, and Vivaldi, and in larger works by Telemann. Brecon Baroque's first album, a collection of Bach violin concertos featuring Podger, appeared on Channel Classics in 2010, and the group has continued to record for that label. A pair of 2016 recordings, of Vivaldi's L'estro armonico concertos and Biber's Rosary Sonatas, won major awards. Most of the group's recordings have been devoted to the music of Bach and Vivaldi, and in 2018 Brecon Baroque added to the large fund of recordings of Vivaldi's Four Seasons violin concertos. It has succeeded in winning critical acclaim for fresh approaches to familiar repertory. Brecon Baroque has concertized as far afield as Japan and made its debut at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2017. The group has an ongoing relationship with the Brecon Baroque Festival (both the group and the festival are named for the city of Brecon, Wales), which predated Podger's Brecon Baroque ensemble. Podger and partner Tim Cronin assumed control of the festival in 2005, and they have forged collaborations between international artists and local musicians during festival days, at the end of October each year.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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